Friday, April 12, 2013


We went to a local riding arena to practice being calm around horses. I brought Chimera there once when he was a puppy, and soon after he saw a horse on the trail, and both times he was unconcerned and even did tricks training quiet close to the riding practice. As I expected, this time he was reactive to the horses. We did BAT and LAT and eventually were able to hang out about 10 feet from the paddock fence while the horses were trotted along it. When they trotted in our direction, Cai would go still and stare but not go over threshold. We should go back at least once in the near future.

I'd never before seen other dogs at the arena, but this time there were three loose dogs walking around and sunning themselves. This was a problem for Cai, but fortunately they were out of sight most of the time.

I am sad that I have to limit where Cai goes and what we do so much. I usually hike my dogs in Redwood at least once a week, and I'd like to be able to walk him around downtown shopping areas. I can't even take him to the pet supply store. He has so much energy and lives to run but I have to keep him cooped up. Pt Isabel is the one dog place we can go, because there are too many dogs to be reactive, but he has to stay on a long line because his recall is nonexistant around other dogs.


  1. Oh boy do I feel you about having a young, active dog who couldn't run as much as I wish he could've because he was so environmentally distracted, especially by other dogs. I know you know this already, but I'm going to say it anyway because I always found (and still find) it helpful to hear from others: keep doing what you're doing and working on it, and it'll get better. He'll gradually calm down around that other stuff if you keep working on it in classes and when you do take him out in public. The changes will probably be so gradual that they're hard to see much of the time, but one day you'll take him out and suddenly realize that he's able to walk with you past staring dogs without freaking out, and that his recall is getting better and better.

    I keep having those revelations with Albee lately, and it's pretty sweet after all of the months and years of frustration and feeling like it wasn't getting any better.

    1. Thank you, Caroline. I do find it comforting to hear from others who have had success with a similar type of dog. He's making me a better trainer, but I still feel much of the same frustration that a regular owner would. On the positive side, I keep my eyes open for those little moments of progress. This morning, there was a dog coming our way across the street. We did two BAT reps in which Cai gave out one frustration bark but then ran away with me. Then as the dog walked away, we did three LAT reps and he was happy and calm! That's definitely an improvement! It was a big dog, and he's now more reactive to small dogs, since he's more frustrated about not being able to run over and greet/play.